Three Rules for Naming Your New Beer

Ask any parent—naming your child is hard; naming your newest beer may be harder. There are library shelves full of baby naming books and you still went to school with three Johns. Beer names are an important part of a brewery’s brand and a good beer name can attract more customers so, you want to stand out with an original, memorable name if you can come up with one.

While this isn’t a list of the greatest beer names, this guide will be a good place to start to develop a great name to christen your beer. Like any set of rules, these aren’t foolproof, but these ideas will help you come up with a name that isn’t totally unappealing or awkward.

1. Make it Catchy

If a customer can’t pronounce or remember the name of your beer, they’re less likely to order it or recommend it to a friend. Keep your name short and simple. Unlike long URLs, your customers won’t be able to bookmark your beer’s name then look it up when they want to order or share with a friend. Overly Friendly IPA from Holy City sounds like a sharable beer, maybe a bit too much.

2. Make it Sing

Put those ENG 101 classes you took to work using some literary devices. Names that rhyme or use alliteration can make memorable names. Humor can be a great tool for naming beers too and though puns may be low-class humor, beer-related punny names are popular. Lagunita’s A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is a good example of a beer name that sings.

3. Show some Class

Keeping it classy is a good principle to guide not only naming, but all sorts of branding and marketing decisions. You might be tempted to “disrupt the market” by being on the fringes of good taste or outright offensive, but naming your beer something that your grandmother wouldn’t order out loud is probably not where you want to be. Sexist, racist, and homophobic names may be a cheap way to get short-term media attention, but is bad for building a long-term customer base. Grandma would probably approve of Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout; it’s a classy name and oatmeal will keep you warm.

There are some terrible names for some really good beer out there; follow these rules and you might not fall in the same trap and you just might pick up some new fans because your name got their attention.

Beating the Market: Small Companies vs. Industry Leaders

To put it plainly, small business is now big business. With roughly 30 million businesses operating in the United States, one surprising statistic is where the job creation is coming from. In the two decades preceding 2013, small businesses were responsible for the creation of more than 60% of new jobs.

Seventy-five percent of all these businesses are self-employed, and roughly 50% of small businesses will still be in operation more than five years after opening. How are they managing to keep their heads up when the competition is fierce for a market share?

The Small Business Revolution

Consider all the small businesses that cross your path daily. They are everywhere. Your local coffee shop (assuming you don’t crave Starbucks), the dry cleaners on your way to work, a favored boutique close to home, or even the massage therapist you call when the need arises.

It takes commitment, labor, and extensive amounts of time to make these places into something truly special. The owners deserve and should, in fact, command respect for their ability to bring their concepts to life and keeping them that way. So why is it there are so many consumers who drive the extra five miles to Rite-Aid for prescription refills or go out of their way to pick up a loaf of bread at Trader Joe’s?

The reasoning behind this phenomenon is simple – they make all the wrong assumptions. The average consumer assumes they save money by purchasing at large chain store because they have the buying power to offer them a lower price. Many also tend to forget about the benefits small businesses have to offer them, such as specialized promotional coupons, or the exceptional customer service that is often lacking in big business.

Small Business Misconceptions

They have smaller inventory selections – Vendors sell to both small and large businesses. While your local shop may not have the item in their inventory, in most cases, they will go out of their way to contact the vendor and get it for you right away. Considerations like this are often lost in big chain stores.

It is stores who set the prices – For the most part, vendors are the ones who decide the price of their products. This is their MSRP and stores usually have no say in what this is. It is only when items do not sell for long periods they finally are marked down, whether the business is big or small.

There is no diversity in products or options – Large merchants carry exactly the products you expect to see in each of their locations. Local stores will surprise you with the variety of interesting things they have to offer. Bigger stores are more hesitant to allow locally sourced products to sit on their shelves, generally because their corporate division does not allow for deviation from shelving schematics. How many times have you walked to the cash register at a local business and found small displays of products crafted in your community? Examples of these include handcrafted soaps or lotions, baked goods, and pickled harvest vegetables like pickles or beets. These advantages to the customer cannot be found in the majority of larger merchants.

Customer service will not be their focus – Customer service is what matters the most to small business owners. They fight hard to get and keep their customers and have greater flexibility to make real connections. They will intentionally strive to make every customer’s day better, and when they thank a client for their patronage, they mean it. Large companies do not worry about the bottom line if several customers refuse to return due to poor customer service. I stopped going to Wal-Mart about seven years ago for reasons relating to poor customer service. The last time I checked, they had not closed because of it.

Helping them does not help the community – Local business owners are the ones willing to support the efforts of the community. The more money spent locally, the better the outlook for your neighborhood will be. Local charities and causes often receive support from local business owners over consumer giants.

What defines an industry leader?

A dominant position in the market place does not just arrive overnight, and keeping the position once you achieve it takes hard work. Advantages such as customer loyalty, brand recognition, and pricing power are what the industry leaders bring to the table. Small businesses can become industry leaders too. They just need to dominate locally before conquering globally.

There are several ways this can be done, and they share equal importance.

Strategic management – A consistently clear vision allows businesses to practice the art of anticipation – what changes will come in public policy, how industry standards may change, and what factors could affect consumer behavior. Seeing the big picture is of the utmost importance. Smaller companies have the advantage in this respect because they can rapidly adjust to changes.

Operational execution – To be a true leader, the simplest things must be done correctly every time. Continuous improvement and investments in training to keep errors at minimal levels, always having products stocked, watching costs, and investments in marketing are examples of what leading companies practice daily.


Innovation – New product development and launches keep businesses in the minds of their customers. The only constant is change, and innovative owners know they must keep ahead of the trends.

War of the Names – Brand vs. Local

Certain brands are instantly recognizable to most people. Heinz Ketchup, Coca Cola, and Oreos come quickly to mind. They are what people reach for, just because they are so familiar and it is what they know.

If you take the time to allow your eyes to wander ever so slightly, you may be amazed to find there are dozens of brands of ketchup available. Larger companies manufacture some, but more often, there are local brand options to consider. These smaller businesses are starting to make names for themselves, and are garnering their own chunk of the market.

A personal example could make you understand the point I am trying to bring across here – small brands do not always stay small. Diana BBQ sauce was created in a town near where I grew up. As a local product, it was so popular all the local stores carried it. Heinz purchased the company more than 20 years ago, and retail giant Kraft Foods now own them.

When walking down almost any store aisle, it is possible to spend 20 minutes or more examining all the local/natural/craft brands offered. Almost every item has similar options.

What is it that catches your eye and draws you in? Their choice of labels is what makes all the difference.

Bracing for Competition

Many small business owners feel as if they have no hope of competing effectively with big name brands. Where this may have been true decades ago, today’s consumers are well informed, and they are looking for more. Their money needs to stretch farther than ever before, so it is essential to provide solutions that offer what they need at prices they can afford.

The biggest growing trends are in the natural and organic markets. People are health conscious not only about what they put into their body but with products they use around the home. They need to feel as if they are somewhat in control of what happens around them.

Now questions are being asked by consumers. They want to know what, and they want to know why. Never before have so many people learned to read and understand the nutrition and ingredient labels on the products they are considering for purchase.

Industry leaders in retail were slow to catch onto these trends. Small companies began manufacturing and selling small batches of food items, beverages, body care products, and home products. These products caught on like wildfire, almost forcing big businesses to put their own versions on the shelves or risk losing the market completely.

There are signs that it may have been too late, however. Many consumers, especially those in the 35 and under age group, will reach for original products put out by the smaller companies. They seem to equate the efforts of conglomerates that have been using chemicals and pesticides in their products for years with a “bad” choice, even when purchasing their natural label items.

This adds up to good news for all the smaller companies. They have built up a measure of trust and brand loyalty that will not easily be pried away. The one thing they all have in common is the need to distinguish their products from all the rest.

Setting Them Apart

You could have the best product in the world, but if your label is “blah,” potential customers will keep on walking. There needs to be something that will grab their attention and make them take a second look. The saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is the cornerstone of the retail world.

The impression you choose to make – the face you put out to the world – must be dazzling, a complete showstopper. This does not mean you need to spend every cent of your capital on designing packaging. However, you do need to create stunning labels that set you apart, have high visual appeal, and are cost effective for your business.

An excellent example of where this makes a difference is with seasonal, local, or high brand food labels. Many small companies produce food products that scream for consumers to buy them. All that is required to make the sale a done deal is the perfect label.

Maple syrup is one product produced in small batches by thousands of small companies. They have a short season, so it is essential they sell as much as possible in the time they have. There is nothing like the taste of pure maple syrup from a local maple tree!

Primera printers produce labels of superior quality that are optimal for gourmet foods, cooking sauces, honey, and many other small-batch products.

Marketing Effectively to Win the Battle

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is viewing marketing as an expense. It should be seen for what it is – an investment in the future of your company. Putting money into a business in the form of equipment is universally seen as an investment. Marketing the products you are going to be selling should be too.

The potential benefits of investing in marketing will yield massive returns in the form of new customers clamoring to buy what you are offering. Too many companies fail to see the value in marketing, and often they neglect to funnel funds in that direction, preferring instead to concentrate on hard assets or stock accumulation.

Smart owners know that results-oriented marketing is about more than the odd commercial or newspaper advertisement. People routinely use their DVR or streaming devices to avoid the commercials big businesses spend millions of dollars on and print advertising is declining rapidly with the availability of online media.

What that leaves is your product itself and the labels used for your brand recognition. Sheeted labels are an excellent choice for printing in-house. They can be used in either ink jet or laser printers and have the durability to withstand heavy handling.

Sheeted labels work with the most popular software programs so you can ramp up your design capabilities. You also have the freedom to experiment with a variety of layouts until you find the label that will give your products the “wow” factor that may have been lacking.

Final Thoughts

Your business does not need to have unlimited funds and thousands of employees to beat the market. What it needs is dedication, the refusal to give up, and brand marketing that will set you apart from all the others in your class.

Focus on marketing to reach new customer bases. Increase your sales by your willingness to go the extra mile for every client. Work on building brand loyalty. Be flexible and willing to change ahead of the times.

When something does not work, adjust until it does. Remembering to keep the big picture in your mind will force focus on where you want to end up – the winner in the brand war.

Industry Spotlight: The Medical Field

Printed labels are universal on almost every good and service available to us. They allow acquisition and management of data, along with recording and tracking of items and information to a very sophisticated level. These qualities make them highly versatile, and their usage endless across a multitude of industries. The digital packaging and labels industry is set to be worth a massive $15.3 billion by 2018.

Given this versatility and their measurable benefits, it is unsurprising that printed labels play a crucial role in an industry where precision is of critical importance: the medical and healthcare fields.

Labels are used in a variety of applications in the medical field from research labs to vials for blood samples to urine specimens. The use of printed labels within the industry is endless, and they have now become a mainstay in hospitals, general practice surgeries, and pharmacies, alongside other medical facilities around the world.

In an area where even the simplest of mistakes can lead to significant consequences, it is imperative that printed labels are designed and implemented correctly to ensure they deliver the highest standard of health and safety.

Communication of Medical Information is Key

Given the wide range of people who use and read printed labels within the healthcare industry, it is critical they are made to cater to their intended audience. With global populations now living longer, there is a need for greater access to healthcare for an aging population. As such, printed labels must be designed in a way that is easy to read and understand, so the medical information is interpreted correctly.

Printed labels can be preprinted to a specific design that suits individual needs. They can be made in different label sizes and shapes, with different font sizes and styles, allowing them to communicate information in a clear and legible way. This makes sure the elderly, as well as those over a spectrum of age ranges with varying levels of literacy, will not get confused and ensures the risk for misinterpretation of medical information is minimized.

Of course, it is not just the elderly or those with poorer literacy levels that benefit from the design versatility of printed labels. Medical professionals must also be able to read and interpret the information correctly, to enable provision of efficient healthcare. By being easy to read, it minimizes the risk of a mistake when providing care. However, the labels must also be able to communicate the full depth of what is often very complicated medical information. To ensure these requirements are met, printed labels are designed to a specific set of legal guidelines.

Printed labels come in different color schemes to indicate different strengths of drugs, to ensure prescription medication is taken correctly, and that drugs are administered using the correct dosage.

Certain term protocols exist that ensures the information conveyed to the user remains the same no matter what the environment or who the user is.

However, language can vary depending on the environment it is used. In facilities such as laboratories, which are only ever used by experienced and skilled lab technicians’, language is permitted to be more specific and scientific (such as abbreviations, and scientific symbols). Whereas information printed on a label on the back of a prescribed medication box is less scientific and easy for everyone to comprehend.

Durability in a Range of Clinical and Non-Clinical Environments

With such a versatile array of uses within the medical industry, it is essential that printed labels are designed for a wide variety of environments. They must be a very durable design to survive 24/7 duty cycle in many challenging environments within the industry.

All printed labels are manufactured using very high-tech materials that are made to last and are often permanent. However, their components such as adhesive and paper type, are designed specifically depending on their intended use. Apart from often rigorous day-to-day handling, they must often survive the use of cleaning solvents, temperature extremes (ranging from -320°F – +725°F) and even wet environments.

Within the healthcare profession, a multitude of things are kept in freezers, such as specimens in cryogenic laboratories, transplant organs, dental products, and even disinfectants. To ensure they survive these cold temperature conditions, special ‘freezer resistant labels’ are designed. They use a high-quality white paper that is coated with a moisture barrier, which is set atop a permanent adhesive to ensure it does not ‘unstick.’

Correct application of the label is also key to ensure it is still readable post-application, especially if it will be scanned, such as barcodes.

Barcodes

The use of barcodes on printed labels has become particularly prominent within the medical profession in the past decade. With a high-quality printed barcode label, a vast amount of encrypted medical information can be obtained almost instantly.

Provision of information from such a fast, up-to-the-minute and reliable information system allows individuals to obtain specific information very quickly, without the worry of gathering it from other people. Blood banks are a great example of how printed labels are utilized to minimize potential healthcare risks. Barcodes are placed on each blood bag, containing information of blood type, to ensure there is a minimized risk of mix-ups upon transfer to a healthcare facility.

Studies have shown that barcodes can reduce medical errors by as much as 41%. The decrease in medical errors has been so prominent, that since 2006, the FDA has made it mandatory for pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide a barcode on prescription medication.

With such a drastic decrease in medical errors occurring from barcodes, the use of barcodes is becoming a standard operating practice in many medical facilities, particularly in hospitals. In an environment where such an importance is placed on health and safety, since the early 2000s, most hospitals have moved to an automatic data capture (ADC) environment.

Application Within Hospital Environments

It is undeniable that hospital environments require the most precise system for information communication and therefore has the widest potential for the use of printed labels. Modern day hospitals use a diverse array of medical equipment and supplies, ranging from bandages to high-tech robotic surgery implements. Given this great array of equipment, many hospitals are using barcode applications, both clinical and non-clinical, to create an efficient system for identification.

They are one of the best and most efficient processes for managing medical orders and supplies, as well as expensive equipment and complicated logistics. This enables logging and tracking of thousands of items within hospitals, to ensure important medical supplies never run out. Almost every logistical process in a hospital benefits from the use of printed label barcodes ranging from a stock room employee to the floor nurse who conducts an inventory check for re-ordering.

With the use of barcodes now becoming even easier with the help of tablets and smartphone apps; barcoded printed labels are accurate, efficient and affordable. This adds bottom-line efficiency and allows a further enhancement of the overall care quality hospitals provide.

Not only can barcodes be used to identify stock and complicated medical equipment, but they can also be used within hospitals for a similar purpose to blood banks. Hospitals use barcodes to identify drawn blood for lab testing. This significantly reduces the chance of a mix-up between blood specimens to ensure the correct results for the correct patient are derived.

However, one extremely important use of printed labels within hospitals, perhaps the most important, is the use of barcodes for patient wristbands. Wristbands with customized barcodes that are printed at the patient’s registrations are a means to clearly identify the patient and provide patient-critical data, such as medication allergies, any chronic health conditions, and dietary needs/restrictions.

The wristband can be updated to give an up-to-the-minute medical history of the patient, such as current status and any dosage amount changes. This information can be regularly updated from admittance to discharge and can also be very easily sent over between hospitals laboratories or other medical facilities should it be required. Since the wristbands remain with the patient throughout the hospital visit, the printed label is designed using materials that are durable enough to withstand exposure to a wide range of substances, such as hand sanitizers and moisture.

Undoubtedly printed labels come into their own in this regard, as it allows healthcare professionals to gather a vast amount of information about a patient, often before they even see them. This reduces costs and saves time, therefore maximizing efficiency and providing care to the highest standard while also minimizing risk to the patient.

Protection of Patient Confidentiality

Labels have become a crucial part of the legal aspects of medicine. While it is undeniable that printed labels are invaluable to the medical industry, given the nature of the field, they contain a large amount of confidential information. Printed labels are designed to abide by regulations set out in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which ensures patient data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

Design of printed patient wristbands is crucial to ensure that patient medical information is kept confidential. To meet HIPAA standards, they are designed with several built-in security features. Firstly, they can be manufactured with a specific adhesive, that prevents reapplication. When they are taken off, they rip, making them unreadable once removed.

Additionally, they can also be printed in a way that means the information or barcode begins to fatigue and fade after a certain period. Typically, barcoded printed labels for wristbands are printed using thermal printing. This technology is either direct-thermal or thermal-transfer printing, with each being used for individual requirements. Direct-thermal printing creates the printed label uses a print head to apply heat directly to a chemically treated label. They require no ink, nor a ribbon – only a copy of the barcode.

In thermal-transfer printing, a ribbon is treated by a print head, melting the image onto the label, creating a highly durable and long-lasting application. Direct-thermal printing is generally the preferred method for printing confidential medical information labels such as barcoded wristbands, as there is no ribbon to destroy to comply with HIPAA patient privacy requirements.

Thermal printing creates wristbands that can be worn for 14 days, ensuring enough time for longer-term inpatients, so they are still ensuring efficiency for use, but also means they diminish in clarity so that confidential data does not stay stored on them for long. It is possible to create printed wristbands for shorter term inpatients, by using different printing techniques such as laser printing. This preprints wristbands that last for 3-4 days before fading, further securing patient confidentiality and keeping data private and safe.

Hazardous Materials

There are strict regulations in place when it comes to disposing of hazardous materials and waste in the medical community. Labels can be preprinted with a warning, so they are easily recognizable by staff. Other pertinent information such as ingredients or expiration date can also be included.

Conclusion

It is clear the use of printed labels within the medical industry is extremely broad, and their use adds a new element to health and safety that we have never seen before. They can help ensure patients interpret instructions from doctors accurately and take prescription medication the correct way. Healthcare provision is also enhanced, as they allow a method of information communication that limits the risk of misinterpretation by healthcare professionals, but also in a rapid timeframe, to enable fast and efficient caregiving.

With modern-day technology advancements, they are now designed to withstand a staggering array of conditions, that are necessary for many medical supplies to be stored in. This ensures they are durable and built to last permanently so they can continue giving accurate information over long time frames.

Conversely, we can also be sure that our medical details remain safe, with their designs also aimed to protect our information, by essentially deleting themselves after a certain period. Given their now widespread application within the medical field, we can be sure they will be increasing health and safety within our healthcare systems for many years to come.